Letters for January 19, 2012

Definition of insanity

Re “Tragedy on the river” by Nick Miller (SN&R Frontlines, January 5):

How horrible. This is so, so unnecessary. Why does Sacramento County and city officials keep doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result? Any 12-step program teaches you that that is the definition of insanity.

I’ve been in those homeless camps, in 2007 and 2009-10. It’s a hard way of life when life is already hard. This has been going on so very long. When is the city going to come up with a workable solution? Obviously, this isn’t going to just go away because you send the police in to shoo off people who need chemo, or a job, or just a place to lay their head.

Tamee Martin
via email

Hop the river for arena

Re “Park and play” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Feature, January 12):

The current row over the use of public-parking funds to subsidize the new arena should be a surprise to nobody. It’s just another wrinkle to add to the circulation problems already sure to arise on game nights because of the inadequate street network around the site, and the realization that the project’s promoters have no reasonable plan to provide adequate parking directly around the facility.

There’s only one place in the general area where consideration of a modern arena might make sense, and that’s across the Sacramento River and adjacent to Raley Field. The site has better freeway access off of Business 80, and would not create a massive traffic jam on downtown streets on game nights. It is closer to the entertainment district in Old Sacramento than the current proposal, and there’s enough space there to place an adequately sized lot for it—and Raley Field—without reverting to this raid on city-parking funds.

The parking facility—being adjacent to the western end of the [Tower] Bridge—would not only generally provide more parking for Old Sac visitors, but add a shuttle bus on weekdays and could also provide needed business day parking for tenants of the buildings along the western end of Capitol Mall. That could provide a spur for higher density redevelopment there as well.

Yet my guess is that few of you or your readers have ever considered this possibility. Certainly the city fathers haven’t; and it’s a shame. To my—perhaps jaundiced—eye, it’s really the only game in town.

Bill Reany

via email

Yep, this essay’s done

Re “When is it done?” by Todd Walton (SN&R Essay, January 12):

This essay is so bang-on.The last sentence simplified, articulated and finished it perfectly: Done! Thank you.

Alex Kelly

Energy to kill the future

Re “Frackquake” by Auntie Ruth (SN&R An Inconvenient Ruth, January 12):

While Auntie Ruth is absolutely right that the science about the relationship of fracking to earthquakes is still unsettled (science takes a long time to reach consensus, as it should), she forgot to mention that earthquakes aren’t the only danger.

In fact, news reports the same week this story appeared said that doctors are calling for a moratorium on the practice because of concerns that adequate studies of the effects of injecting fracking chemicals into the ground have not been completed. To heck with the earthquakes—what’s being pushed into the ground? What effect will it have on our health, our kids’ health, the food we grow—even the grass we let the babies play on in the backyard?

While fears about our energy needs drive fracking, we need to spend some time gathering evidence about the health and safety effects of the process, lest we have just enough energy to kill our future.

Jan Kline

If K.J. had a hammer

Re “Poll position” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Bites, January 5):

As the saying goes, “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail.” Mayor [Kevin] Johnson’s only tool is basketball.


Profitability is job one, right?

Re “Not an anti-union initiative, he says” (SN&R Letters, January 5):

Kevin Dayton’s letter is nothing but a self-serving whitewash of the truth. His only concern is to break unions so that the members of the Associated Builders and Contractors of California can hire laborers and craftspeople and pay them substandard wages while pocketing more for themselves. The result is a few contractors making a lot more money on the economic backs of the people who actually do the work.

It’s the self-serving greed of a class of people more then willing to turn America into a Third World country simply for their personal financial benefit. Mr. Dayton seems mightily unconcerned about the American worker, but thoroughly caught up in profitability before a just society.

Roger Thibault
via email

Prohibition = corruption

Re “Still profitable but not taxed” (SN&R Editorial, January 5):

In Ken Burns’ outstanding 2011 PBS documentary Prohibition, it was revealed that alcohol prohibition corrupted all levels of our government—all the way up to the Warren G. Harding White House. The alcohol cartels had hundreds of politicians on their payroll.

Is it unreasonable to suspect that the drug cartels of today are following in the footsteps of the alcohol cartels? It’s obvious that medical-marijuana dispensaries were making a major dent in the income of the drug cartels.

Would a $10 million to $15 million bribe motivate [President Barack] Obama to change his policy regarding medical marijuana? We will never know. But I certainly suspect so.

Kirk Muse
via email

Magic number: zero

Re “Marijuana by the numbers” by David Downs (SN&R The 420, January 5):

One important number was absent in this piece: zero. That’s the number of people who have died directly from using cannabis (marijuana) in over 5,000 years of documented usage. That’s safety on a Biblical scale.

Stan White
via email